Expanded Front-Panel Connectivity
In Win goes a step further than its competitors with two eSATA front-panel ports, even as USB 3.0 attempts to extinguish eSATA from the portable device market. The Dragon Rider addresses both interfaces, in addition to USB 2.0 and FireWire.
More Motherboard Cooling
Raised sections on the left-side panel provide additional room for cable routing and an intake fan behind your motherboard. Four grommets for external liquid cooling lines highlight the back panel, while two 120 mm fan mounts at the top support internal radiators.
Exposing Your Secrets
While many builders try to hide cables between the motherboard tray and side panel, the Dragon Rider’s open design lets everyone see what’s going on behind the scenes. A few extra cable ties would help with cable management in the limited hidden space, though.
A USB Surprise
Although this chassis emerged many months after the development of the standardized front-panel USB 3.0 header, we were a little disappointed to find that the Dragon Rider can’t take advantage of that connector. Instead, it takes us back to 2009 with pass-through cables for the rear-panel ports.
120 mm Fans Aplenty
While the Dragon Rider includes a 220 mm side fan, the rest of its coolers are 120 mm across, with no option to use larger fans. Here we see another view of its 2 x 120 mm radiator support, of which only one side has a factory-installed fan. Other options include removing the 220 mm side fan and replacing it with up to six 120 mm blowers.
A Latch That Works
In Win is one of several companies to recently adopt a plunging card latch. Unlike previous-generation flip-top designs, this one actually works with every card we could find.
Trays, Rails, Or A Tray Full Of Rails?
While newer cases usually employ drive trays, and older cases use drive rails, the Dragon Rider packs a stack of rails onto both sides of a tray. The downside to rails was that they'd constantly get misplaced. But the tray gives users a convenient place to store unused parts until they're needed. Another tray adapts 3.5” external drives to a 5.25” bay, and both of these are also mounted on rails.
Support Your SSD
In case you missed it, this page's title mentions a singular SSD. In Win solved the problem of lost rails by mounting them on a 5.25” adapter tray, but the rails still only support one device size. Thus, 2.5” drives won’t fit into 3.5” hard drive bays without the purchase of separate bay adapters, and the case has only one 2.5” tray.
Rosewill targets value seekers by providing a medium-duty eight slot case with fewer frills and a bunch of functionality. A tinted side window accents the Blackhawk’s clean design.
Striking Convenience In An Understated Design
Rather than load up its front panel with buttons and jacks that few people use, Rosewill expanded the Blackhawk’s USB connectivity to six ports and stuck a mildly-concealed 3.5” drive bay behind them. Professional techs will probably notice this right away, since many of them use a working system to scan or backup the drives of failed systems.